Health Alert:  U.S. Embassy Cotonou, Benin

Health Alert:  U.S. Embassy Cotonou, Benin (July 8, 2020)

Location:  Benin


Multiple airlines have scheduled flights in and out of Cotonou within the next two weeks, including Air France, Brussels Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, and Turkish Airways.  Interested travelers should contact these carriers directly for schedules and booking.  All travelers should confirm with the airlines transit/transfer requirements for connections to the United States.  Some airlines may require passengers to bring a mask.  Passengers whose flights were cancelled should contact their airline directly for information about rebooking options.

The Government of Benin is conducting mandatory COVID-19 testing of all airline passengers arriving in Benin.  Tests are at passenger expense; fees of 100,000 CFA or €153 (approximately $165) must be paid in cash, and airlines may require proof of ability to pay as a condition of boarding.  Travelers may be ordered to self-quarantine while awaiting the test results, and those who test positive for COVID-19 may be subject to government-mandated isolation measures.  This may include possible quarantine in a government-designated hotel at passenger expense.  The Government of Benin has said it will hold passengers’ passports until testing and isolation requirements are met to ensure compliance.

Facemasks or cloth coverings continue to be required in public, and social distancing guidelines remain in place.  For more information, visit the Government of Benin’s COVID-19 website (in French).

U.S. Embassy Cotonou has reduced operations to emergency services only until further notice.  U.S. citizens with emergencies, including passport emergencies, should contact American Citizen Services at, or call +229 21 36 75 00 and press 0 to speak to an operator.

Actions to Take:

  • Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
  • Visit the Government of Benin’s COVID-19 website (in French) or call the Government’s COVID-19 hotline at +229 51 02 00 00 / 51 04 00 00 for information on current government measures.
  • Follow all government and law enforcement procedures and instructions.
  • Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on for the latest information regarding foreign countries’ quarantine requirements and other global impacts.
  • Make plans to depart Benin without U.S. Government assistance.
  • Prepare to shelter in place for an indefinite period of time if remaining in Benin, including ensuring you have an adequate supply of prescription medication.
  • Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Benin.
  • Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
  • Check with your airlines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or cancellations and restrictions of future tickets.